FARMINGTON — Defense attorneys for Stephanie and Nathanael Sloop want the judge to suppress testimony from a psychologist with offices in Ogden and Sandy.
Attorneys for the Layton couple filed motions earlier this week in 2nd District Court in Farmington to quash the subpoena seeking medical records and testimony from Dr. Rob Pramann regarding both defendants.
According to court documents filed Thursday by prosecutors, the Sloops made statements to the therapist “before and shortly after Ethan (Stacy’s) murder,” discussing the 4-year-old boy’s behavior and physical state.
Layton residents Stephanie Sloop, 28, and her husband, Nathanael, 32, are each charged with aggravated murder,
degree felony child abuse, second-degree felony obstruction of justice and third-degree felony abuse or desecration of a body in the death of Ethan Stacy, Stephanie Sloop’s son.
The boy died May 9, 2010, and investigators found his body buried near Powder Mountain.
A hearing is set for Thursday, at which time attorneys may argue before Judge Glen C. Dawson on the admissibility of any medical records or any testimony from Pramann.
Prosecutors filed a subpoena in December seeking the medical records and testimony from Pramann, according to the court documents.
Defense attorneys claim in their court documents that the medical records and testimony are not allowed because they are protected under doctor-patient privilege.
Prosecutors also filed a limited subpoena on Dec. 14 to the therapist and to the defense attorneys.
They sent a copy to the therapist’s attorney directing him not to comply with the subpoena until defense attorneys “had an opportunity to contest it.”
According to the court documents, prosecutors argue that “any communication between the defendant and his therapist about Ethan’s behavior, abuse, and physical injuries are not privileged because they were not ‘for the purpose of diagnosing or treating’ the defendant.”
Also, the therapist’s duty to disclose child abuse under Utah’s law may not be protected under the therapist-patient privilege, according to prosecutors’ memorandum.
Prosecutors claim in the court document that the legislative intent of the law is to protect children “from the type of crippling and deadly abuse that the State will prove here.”